Sociologist Philip Rieff wrote about “death works”—cultural activities or expressions that serve no purpose except to tear down tradition and belief in the sacred.
Recently, Culture of Life Africa founder, Obianuju Ekeocha, took to Twitter to highlight an especially appalling death work. Bloomberg Quicktake featured a video on an art exhibit in New York City called “Abortion is Normal,” in which over 50 artists celebrate and defend the so-called “right to choose,” in bizarre and even grotesque ways.
The exhibit is described as a way to push back against abortion restrictions, but the pieces really speak to the central place death plays in the pro-choice movement.
For Rieff, abortion itself was a death work. It ends not just a life but a culture’s belief in life and that sex has a necessary connection with new humans. As Obianuju Ekeocha reminds us, “Abortion is vile and ugly.” That can’t be covered up with paint or anything else.
Twitter | May 3, 2021
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